Martin Golf Apparel – “Gift Ideas for Golfers for the Holidays 2012, Martin Sweaters” – RockyMountainGolfMag.com
‘Tis the Season: Gift Ideas for the Holidays — Martin Sweaters.
By Kim D. McHugh, Associate Editor
It isn’t too early to start thinking about what to give (or to receive) as a holiday gift. With Hanukkah starting in early December and Christmas about two months away, why not consider a gorgeous sweater from Martin Golf Apparel?
Classic Models, Diverse Fabrics.
Rick Martin, who founded Fairway & Greene in 1995, then sold the firm in 2006, re-entered the marketplace in 2011. From the get go his apparel was very well received by golfers and pro shop merchandisers for its quality, styling, proprietary finishing process and offerings.
“We offers sweaters in three fabrications, 100% Pima Cotton, Baby Alpaca from Peru and Baruffa Merino Wool from Italy,” explained Martin. “By featuring classic models such as long sleeve V-necks, button front waistcoats, crewnecks and three button polos, golfer have numerous ways to add to their wardrobe.”
Hand-linked, Not Machine Woven.
When I picked up a sweater crafted using 70% Alpaca and 30% wool, what struck me was how soft and supple it felt. As evidence of the lengths Martin Golf Apparel goes to infuse quality in its products, all of its Intarsia sweaters are hand linked instead of fashioned by machines. Though the unique process is time consuming and thereby more costly, the result is worth it.
“My idea of golf fashion is rooted in watching legends like Byron Nelson and Ben Hogan, gentlemen who always looked well put together, but never contrived,” Martin added. “To that end, my goal is to create elegant, stylish but versatile garments that are related, but can be worn with anything.
Studying the cuffs, weave around the V-neck and edge along the bottom of the sweater, I could see that the level of finish was exceptional. What was especially appealing to me as a Colorado golfer was that the sweater wasn’t bulky, rather “thin” so it was great for layering when worn over a short sleeve golf shirt.
Natural Fibers, Natural Colors.
In keeping with Martin’s longtime philosophy of creating apparel that’s both traditional and timeless, the company’s collections, including sweaters, continue its focus on not only natural fibers, but what Martin calls “natural colors” as well.
“Our color palette is something I’ve developed over a lifetime of experience in the apparel business,” Martin commented, “I’m proud that focus on traditional colors is among the things I’m known for.”
Martin’s line, which also includes shirts, windvests and windsweaters with a proprietary windstopper liner, is only sold in private golf club pro shops. Sweaters retail between $170 – $240.
The monthly newsletter for Golf Oklahoma Magazine, the major golf publication in the state, has posted a short feature on the Antigua 2013 Outerwear in the newsletter below. Scroll down in the newsletter below to view the coverage for Antigua. Mary Beth
|Golf Oklahoma • 6218 S Lewis Avenue Suite 200 • Tulsa OK 74136 • www.golfoklahoma.org|
Review by: GolfSpy_Matt, MyGolfSpy.com
While you may or may not know the name Rick Martin, you probably know the first brand that he founded: Fairway and Greene. After leaving that company and taking some time away, Mr. Martin is back in the golf apparel game heading up a brand that bears his own name: Martin Golf Apparel.
I’ve had a chance to test a bit of Martin apparel and speak to Rick Martin on the phone. The thing that stood out to me during my conversation with Rick was his focus on the quality of the shirt. Often, when I speak to apparel people, they tell me about the style or look that they’re going for, but Rick was focused primarily on the quality of construction. This focus on making the best possible shirt is evident in the final product. Read on to find out more about what sets Martin Golf Apparel apart from the competition.
I had read that Martin Golf Apparel was cut a bit larger than many of the new, young, fashion brands in golf, so I opted for mediums instead of larges (I vary between the two depending on brand). In retrospect, I might have been able to get away with a small (for reference, I’m a hair over 6’ tall and 200 pounds). While not unflattering, the cut of Martin shirts is definitely more relaxed. As Rick Martin puts it, “I design shirts for the guy with a big back swing.”
One important point: even though the cut is more generous, the sleeves are not overly long. The sleeves on the polos fall about an inch and a half short of my elbow.
If you prefer a snug fitting shirt, Martin probably won’t be your go to, but if you want room to move, you’ll love it.
On a scale from “Baggy” to “Spandex”: Room for a big back swing
The motto of Martin Golf Apparel is “Timeless as the Game.” With that in mind, you would correctly expect to see more understated, traditional, and classy garments. Rick told me that everything he designs is meant to pair with khaki pants or shorts because those are things that “every guy has” (as opposed to neon orange shirts and pants which are best worn in a matchy-matchy prison jumpsuit look). He went on to say that these are shirts that are meant to be worn for years and years without looking dated.
Another important aspect of Martin’s style is the focus on natural fibers. Everything from Martin is cotton, wool, or cashmere, which really sets it apart in a pro shop full of tech fabrics.
On a scale from “Dull” to “Fowler”: Classic
As I mentioned earlier, Rick Martin designs the shirts with the golf swing in mind. He told me that you will never find a player in Martin Golf Apparel picking their shirt off their back as you often do with other shirts. I’m not sure if that is a result of the material or the cut, but he’s definitely right.
Ultimately, the Martin golf shirt moves very well. When swinging a club, the shirts and vests were barely noticeable.
On a scale from “Bust a Move” to “Busting Seams”: Satisfactory
With prices ranging from $78-88 for polos and $125-250 for sweaters, Martin Golf Apparel is definitely staking out a spot on the higher end of the golf apparel market. However, price objections are probably not something that Martin will need to worry about too much because the line will only be distributed through private clubs.
While the prices are on the high side, I will say that the construction and the quality of the clothes is superior to almost every other golf shirt I’ve come across. This is best seen in the collar: far from the limp, lifeless blob that you get with so many other shirts, the thick collars on Martin golf shirts stand at attention even after some washings.
On a scale from “I’ll take one of each” to “You must be joking”: Worth the splurge
So here’s the takeaway on Martin Golf Apparel: super premium quality, natural fibers, larger cut.
As I mentioned, you won’t find Martin in your local big box, but it’s something that you will find at the better private clubs throughout the country. They are currently only making tops, but the line will expand to shorts and pants in 2013. If you want a shirt that will not only last for multiple seasons, but a shirt that will look good year after year, check out Martin Golf Apparel.
Tommy Hilfiger Golf Apparel Holds Up Under Trial
New styles and fabrics lend a trendy new look and feel to the Tommy Golf apparel line, holding up under close scrutiny.
Review by: Rebecca Case, ParStars.com
There’s nothing worse than paying $50 for a new golf shirt, only to find out that it fades in the wash the first time through – and then shrinks in the dryer to further mock you. It is with that bitter memory in mind that I decided to put another of golf’s many designer brands to the test to see how Tommy Hilfiger Golf truly performs – both on and off the golf course.
Isn’t it great to unwrap stuff that you’ve ordered in the mail? It’s like a Christmas present that you already peeked at, but want badly enough that you don’t have to pretend to be excited when it comes time to open it. So when my new Tommy Golf shirt arrived in the mail, I was as eager as a little kid to try in on for size.
The top I ordered was light blue and sleeveless – perfect for hot Phoenix summers. The label was printed on heavy cardstock with gold print, boasting all of the shirt’s fine features, such as: moisture management, high-speed wicking, antimicrobial technology and odor control. Yep: all good things for golf. What really counts isn’t the pretty packaging, however. It’s how well the product really delivers on those promises that makes or breaks a review. Below the Tommy Golf line has been reviewed on its style, cut and fit, performance, durability, value and then given an overall score and final impression rating to help you decide if the Tommy Golf line is right for you.
My first impression of the Tommy top was that it was kind of plain. However, after unwrapping it all the way and turning it over a bit, I came to think of it as more versatile than plain.
Tommy’s current slogan for their golf line is “Preppy with a Twist.” I’m not sure what the twist is, but the top was definitely preppy.
The color was such that it could easily be paired with any bottoms, making it an easy choice to grab in a pinch. After browsing online, I found that is the case with the entire line. They have set out to choose colors and patterns that are visually appealing, without being overwhelming or using colors that are overly bold.
Additionally, the small but distinct logo didn’t interfere with the style, but rather was placed discreetly on the bottom left corner of the shirt. I like this placement because it doesn’t scream who designed your clothes, instead allowing the fashion to speak for itself.
Cut and Fit
Every designer has a different idea of the ideal body type, so you never know what you’re going to get when you order online. Additionally, many women’s golf brands go for a little extra bulk to allow room for golf swing movement, occasionally making the fit unflattering. I was pleasantly surprised, therefore, when the size small top I ordered fit like my idea of a size small top should.
The Tommy Golf top was just the right length so that when I do a full swing rotation, my midriff doesn’t make any sudden appearances. This is good for more than just golf. It’s also the current fashion to have your top drape a few inches below the waist line.
Even though sleeveless, Tommy Golf tops are cut in such a way as to provide full shoulder coverage, which allows the wearer flexibility to sport the top in the office, on the golf course or just shuttling the kids to and from school. The cut lends quite a bit of versatility.
In case you’ve never had the misfortune to visit in the summer, let me just share with you that Phoenix is hot. So all of those manufacturing promises of great technology and moisture wicking were indeed top of my list when trying out the Tommy Golf brand.
The good news: this is by far one of the most comfortable tops I’ve ever worn golfing in Phoenix. Part of it has to do with the sleeveless cut, but I additionally never felt that my shirt was ever moist or sticking to me. I cannot speak to any microbes or odor control (I didn’t push my luck and skip the deodorant, sorry folks), but I think the most important element of keeping the wearer cool and dry were definitely met, which earns high marks from me.
I also think it bears repeating that the cut of the shirt was long enough to fully cover the midriff, which is important when completing a golf swing rotation. The cut performed well in that are as well.
New clothes always get treated better than the ones you’ve had for awhile, but eventually everything accidentally gets tossed in the wash when it was meant to be sent to the cleaner, or shoved in the dryer when it was supposed to be laid flat. The good news is that manufacturers generally label your clothes with one step above and beyond what you really need to do to take care of your clothes properly. For instance, if the label says to hand wash only, you can often get away with the gentle cycle on your machine.
The Tommy Golf brand labeled their apparel precisely how it needs to be cared for, however. Like all good new clothes owners, I read the tag and initially did a good job of snatching the top out of the machine and laying it flat to dry. But then I got sloppy in our relationship. I really should have remembered to take my top out for a nice seafood dinner and call it in the morning, but alas, it ended up in the dryer with the rest of the load, and got a bit cranky because of the mistreatment.
The good news is that the top did not shrink in the dryer. The bad news is that it did develop a little unraveling along the inside seam. A few more times through the wash and pretty much the entire inner edge looked like this. Thankfully, that’s as far as things went.
I have used this top both on and off the golf course, washed it numerous times and even had to use stain remover on it. It still looks brand new (on the outside, which is ultimately what matters), with no fading, shrinkage or stretching. Oh ya, one more thing – it’s not prone to wrinkle either.
Manufacturers throw out a lot of techy terms meant to sway the customer these days, but what impresses me most is getting a product that lives up to its price tag. I don’t like feeling swindled or shortchanged, which is why I have to look at all the above categories and how they were scored before I can properly rate the value.
The question is: Would I buy another Tommy Golf top in the future?
The answer is yes, but I’d personally look for a sale. Their website is full of clearance golf apparel for those willing to wait until the off season to make a purchase. But, who knows, if I was in a golf shop tomorrow and found a Tommy Golf top that I just had to have, given my positive experience with the brand from the above review, I might just purchase it at full price on the spot.
Tommy Golf has come a long way from the traditional standard cotton shirt and pants. Its integration of new fabric technologies has lent the brand a whole new versatility in its design abilities and increased the comfort of its clothes by leap and bounds.The fit and durability of the clothes held up under much use and lazy care, which is important when you are a busy person.
Additionally, the cut and style of the line allowed me to wear the top for more than just golf, which is nice if you’re planning to go to work on the same day that you golf.Overall, Tommy Golf held up surprisingly well and will be on my watch list of golf apparel brands in the future.
Overall Tommy Golf Score 90/100
The Tommy Golf brand just announced the release of its Spring 2013 line, which will feature three unique looks. The first delivery draws inspiration from the wide open Arizona desert with a neutral palette that emphasizes strong graphic details. Pieces include lightweight cardigans, cotton zip-neck sweaters, shorts and classic slacks. Delivery two incorporates the unique summer vibe of Bar Harbor. Nautical stripes, Sleeveless polo shirtdresses and red, white and blue plaid pants give a classic New England shoreline vibe. Inspired by the sun and sand of Palm Beach, the final delivery features shades of sun washed yellows, pinks, blues, and greens paired with subtle patterns.Through a license agreement with The Fletcher Leisure Group, the men’s and women’s golf lines are available in the U.S., Canada and Europe at private and public golf clubs, golf specialty stores, sport specialty stores, select resorts and online.
About the Author
Rebecca Case Rebecca has been writing about and promoting golf since her college days where she was the media contact for the Northern Arizona University golf team. She then worked with a golf marketing and public relations firm, promoting golf courses, architects and events across the US, primarily in the Southwest. Rebecca has now turned her sights on providing golf news and course reviews to golfers across America by managing the editorial content of Par Stars.